Evaluation of the microscopic distribution of florfenicol in feed pellets for salmon by Fourier Transform infrared imaging and multivariate analysis

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Fourier Transform infrared imaging and multivariate analysis were used to identify, at the microscopic level, the presence of florfenicol (FF), a heavily-used antibiotic in the salmon industry, supplied to fishes in feed pellets for the treatment of salmonid rickettsial septicemia (SRS). The FF distribution was evaluated using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Augmented Multivariate Curve Resolution with Alternating Least Squares (augmented MCR-ALS) on the spectra obtained from images with pixel sizes of 6.25 μm × 6.25 μm and 1.56 μm × 1.56 μm, in different zones of feed pellets. Since the concentration of the drug was 3.44 mg FF/g pellet, this is the first report showing the powerful ability of the used of spectroscopic techniques and multivariate analysis, especially the augmented MCR-ALS, to describe the FF distribution in both the surface and inner parts of feed pellets at low concentration, in a complex matrix and at the microscopic level. The results allow monitoring the incorporation of the drug into the feed pellets.

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